The Evening Standard story – Worries over DNA database samples

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“Worries over DNA database samples”

People who volunteer DNA samples for the national database risk implicating members of their families in crimes, a Government-appointed advisory group has said.

The independent Ethics Group said plans to conduct familial searches of the national DNA database (NDNAD) could lead to family members of those whose samples are stored being linked to unsolved crimes.

In its annual report, the panel also found that the process for such searches “was not open and transparent in terms of when and how confidential information on parentage can be divulged”.

Chairman Christopher Hughes and his group said there was “an issue of public awareness, especially for those individuals that volunteered samples for the NDNAD”.

“There is the potential that DNA analysis would be used to potentially identify family members linked to unsolved crime and the implications of following up information derived from a familial search,” they said.

Last year, the Ethics Group criticised ethnicity data held on the database as “not fit for purpose”.

But it said a full equality impact assessment found “that the over-representation of the black population on the NDNAD results from the over-representation of black people in the CJS (criminal justice system) rather than from NDNAD processes.”


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